This week’s devotionals are based on 1 Corinthians 3:1-9.
'You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?' (1 Corinthians 3:3-4)
i) YOU ARE STILL WORLDY
Paul twice uses the word ‘flesh’ (‘worldly’ in the NIV). To live according to the flesh is to live in opposition to the will of the Holy Spirit. Their ‘jealousy and quarrelling over leaders’ are a failure to ‘keep in step with the Holy Spirit’ (Galatians 5:25).
ii) YOU ARE ACTING LIKE MERE HUMANS
He likens their divisions to living like ‘mere human beings’. Christians are not ‘mere human beings’. We must understand our new identity and live in light of that: we are people with the Spirit dwelling in us; we are united to Jesus and to one another by the Spirit; we are justified and adopted by God in Christ. Jealousy and quarrelling of any sort cannot remain unresolved in a community that embraces the power of the gospel. Paul Tripp wrote about the transformation that the gospel works in us,
‘The gospel is a living identity for all who believe. We have become something in Christ, something that is glorious and new and filled with new potential. Good gospel theology doesn’t just define for you who God is and what he has done; it also redefines who you are as his child.’
Are we aware that we are not ‘mere human beings’? We have the Spirit living in us and have a choice of whether to live according to the flesh (be ‘worldly’) or keep in step with the Spirit in our relationships.
OVER TO YOU - PRAY AND WORSHIP OUT OF THE BIBLE
I’ve made a few comments. However, it’s more important that you engage with the text yourself. Take a moment to pray and listen to God’s voice out of today’s text.
‘You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?' (1 Corinthians 3:3-4)
I find it helpful to use the following questions which are based upon The Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13).
1. Praise - What does this text teach me about God? What can I praise Him for?
2. Petitions - What does this teach me about His will for me and others? What could I pray for from this text? This is a good time to pray for our non-believing. friends. It’s good to ask, Is the Holy Spirit leading me in any specific response?
3. Peace-making - Is the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin for which I need forgiveness? Do I need to forgive others?
4. Protection - Ask for God’s protection generally and for any specific areas of vulnerability. Am I believing lies regarding the truths in this text?
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
We have our second gift day on the 21st of November. Let's be praying for How the Father wants us to get involved.
How has God spoken to you from the Bible this week?
2. Focus on the carol service
I'd like us to start by focusing on sharing, planning and praying for our carol service which is coming up on the 5th of December.
Let's watch this short video together (The image below is the link)
1. Who are you planning to invite to the carol service on 5th December?
2. Do you plan to do anything special to connect (SIV) with your friends outside of the church during this Christmas season?
i) Let's spend some time in prayer for ourselves, that we would be courageous and invite people.
ii) Pray for our friends to be receptive.
iii) Pray for the carol service in general and Adrian in particular.
Here is the link for you to book ticket for yourself and your friends:
3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group
On Sunday, Nev spoke from 1 Corinthians 3:1-9
‘Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings? 5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.’ (1 Corinthians 3:1-9)